Wednesday, March 10

Mesmerized

Not only does today’s feature have great talent that drew me in instantly, the name had me popping out of my seat. You see my very favorite private art teacher was of the same last name. I am not sure what I learned from him. Of course I learned the basics of art, how I am not sure since I was completely head over heels for him. You know, the kind of school girl crush that has you stealing glances, giggling and unable to focus on anything more then silly day dreams. Sanchezisms art however too is a day dream. Wonderful work that leaves me dreaming. A husband and wife duo, I think you will find their answers highly interesting as we hear commentary from each. So, pull up a chair, sit back and get ready for a great read!

Sanchezism


1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space?

Steve: My Name is Stephen Sanchez. I believe that a true artist’s creative space is in the mind. Through vision and creative thinking processes. It is separate from the place that we bring our vision to reality. Our Studio is the place where we put our assumptions to the test. A corner in a room, the pavement on a sidewalk, a wall in a child’s bedroom. All of which are places I feel can be as special a studio as any place. A place where we are not limited to standards or guidelines as they are what stifle creativity. While at the same time standards and guidelines breed creativity for those who chose not to color inside the lines.

Kellie: My name is Kellie Sanchez and I am a self taught glass artist and crafter. I have loved drawing and creating things since I was very little. I have done a variety of mediums through the years, from acrylic painting and wall murals to ceramics to Ukrainian eggs, and now glass. I love mediums that are challenging and unforgiving. My studio has always been a desk located somewhere near the center of the family living area. right now, the entire bottom floor of our house is our studio. We have equipment and working areas located in every room.

2. If there is one thing that defines you, what is it?

Steve: Surrealism. To take something that is very real and twist it. Stretch it. Smash it. Taste it. Feel it. Even become one with it. I have always fancied people who look at the glass half full or half empty but question the energy that surrounds the glass and the way people analyze it to begin with. Glass is malleable, hard, cold, hot, sharp, soft, clear, opaque, fluid and most of all, what it does with light can not be compared to anything other than sunsets and sunrises that we see through water in our atmosphere which plays a very similar role to crystal clear glass. Truth is we have only scratched the surface of what glass can do and we are having a total blast exploring our way ever forward.

Kellie: OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder that i have taken ot a highly functional level LOL! Everything that has ever piqued my interest became a challenge that I had to master. Not just to do it, but to do it well. I can multi task like a fiend, but also stay focused on one thing until I feel that I am as good as I'm going to get at that particular subject.

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?

Steve: Creativity runs in our blood. I was born the son of an art student. Apparently I found my way into my dad’s paints around the age of 3 and added my own style to his paintings. Out of frustration and my mothers chagrin, my father supplied me with everything I needed to paint by his side instead of on his side. My first oil painting was called “birdy”. It was that way through out my entire childhood. My younger brother also saw at an early age that I was praised for my talent potential and eagerly started his trek. He’s a talented artist who currently works as a graphic artist for International Gaming Technology where I also worked for 2 ½ years. If I am going to get what I want in life, I have to be my own manager and create my own path. My son has been creatively challenged since his birth and today works with me on several projects. He’s attending college now learning graphics. His first child will be his first life long canvas and I will be sure to influence.

Kellie: I have 4 kids of my own and 2 step children. My kids love my art, and a couple of them inherited my artistic ability. But it is my husband that pushes me to do whatever it is that I am learning better. He knows how to motivate and inspire me. It certainly helps that he is an incredible artist himself, with not only natural talent, but he has formal art training where I do not. He teaches me a lot.

4. Where do you live and what is it like?

We live in Nevada City California. It is completely stress free. 5 miles from my favorite fishing lake, the smell of fresh air. In fact the fresh air itself is a huge plus. I am not keen of snow but deal with it. I just stay in and create. Nevada City is a very creative community and reminds me of San Francisco with all the Victorians but in the mountains. When I drive down into the valley for what ever business reasons, I feel my blood pressure start to rise the moment I start to hit traffic and congestion. The people are more pleasant to be around up here. I have the crystal prisms in a local glass shop and they have been selling for 4 months straight. We are loving it here!

5. Where did you learn your medium?

Steve: From pure desire. Anyone with creativity can easily pick up a tool and explore what it can do. Most tools come with a guide and that guide may tell you if you strike an object with it, you will break it. But that could be the very thing that is needed in order to spark the creative vision. Salvador Dali is and will always be my inspiration in what I want in life. Standing in front of one of his paintings, I wanted to paint just like him. I picked up my brushes and started painting one right after another until I got it to where I wanted it. At first I copied his paintings. Painted murals on the walls in my bedroom, drew on desks and tables in school during lectures. Took several years but I did it by not giving up. Sort of like the way an athlete or musician practices in order to become an expert in the field. I attended the Academy of Art is SF at 17 thinking I was god’s gift to the world. What I learned at the Academy was not how to be a good artist because I already was, but I was tossed into a pool of hundreds of artists and suddenly became one of the crowd. I was humbled and my eyes were split wide open and suddenly I began to see a more profound and deep TRUE vision of myself as an artist. I learned how to sculpt Crystal after leaving the Academy as an apprentice to a crystal sculptor who was well established in the glass art community. Both my Brother and I worked for him for 5 years but we were only working on his designs. Sort of like the shoemaker with the elves. “ what if we did this?” “What if we did that?” we constantly asked but for the most part we stayed on the path because it provided a clear shot to his success. Not ours. He passed away and everything ground to a halt. 20 years later it’s my turn and I call the shots. The biggest and most valuable question in the world to an artist is: “What if?” We are now finding that out. When we finish, we will ask again.

Kellie: I am self taught in everything I've ever done. Witht he glass, my husband bourght home a microwave kiln and some glass scraps about a year ago. I reserched fused glass on the Internet and just took off from there.

6. What are your goals with your work?

Steve: To make it perpetual. To influence. To serve myself by being able to continue creating while it pays for itself. I have worked for corporate for over 10 years because my talent didn’t always pay the bills. Doesn’t now but I have found that corporate America is completely dysfunctional when it comes to logic and I became nauseated with authority. I obtained a business management degree to go into administrative management only to discover the higher you go the tougher the shackles and cuffs they put on you are. I walked away and emptied allof my 401K from all the corporate jobs I had. All the stock options cashed in and put it into the crystal business. The goal is to continue all the way down this path and start something huge that will continue to grow well after I am gone.

Kellie: To create or develop a technique that not many other artists do. I hope to stand out on my own and to be respected in the artistic community as a good artist.

7. How did you come to selling online?

Steve: 20 years ago when I first attempted to do this we did not have internet. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get all the information needed in order to get a good start. The crystal sculptor we worked for was very private and did not share information on how to get started for fear of our taking his business away… I guess. I can only assume. When he passed that was it. Now, because of the internet not only do I have all the information that I need, suppliers that I need but I have discovered that if you have an object that someone wants regardless of what it is, it can be sold to a total stranger in a rice field in Thailand. All we need is .0001 percent of the population to buy one crystal and the business will be set. But our goals are higher than that. Something even more valuable than a sale and that is respect in the field.

Kellie: Being a computer geek by day, I have been buying and selling on the internet since before Bill Gates created Internet Explorer. I ran a small community bulletin board where I programmed ASCII online games and sold "subscriptions" to the bulletin board back in 1990. I was also very active, mainly as a buyer, on EBay since 1995. LOL, my PayPal account is older than many of the kids online now!

8. Where all do you sell?

Kellie: We have Crystal Prisms in the Nevada city Crystal and Glass store in downtown Nevada City, hoping to branch out to more brick and mortar stores soon. We have our own domain and website. I also maintain active shops on both Etsy and ArtFire.

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?

Steve: You are already an artist if you can draw a straight line. A surreal artist if you can’t. Be honest with yourself. Understand who you are and what you want and make it happen. Sounds like a cliché but in hindsight cliché’s are there for a reason. Are you concerned by what people think of what you are doing? Or are you creating with out a shred of concern about what people think of your work? Do you accept criticism well? I believe that a true artist doesn’t create to please people but creates in order to temporarily relieve one’s self obsessed compulsion with creativity. Get it off your chest and walk away. Then come back and do it again, and again because it gets you off. If you happen to be lucky enough that your work DOES please people then you are golden and every human being … and recently animals… possess that potential. You just need the right influence, drive and motivation. When being compelled by an inner drive for creativity. Listen to it, question it, twist it and then stretch it as far as your mind can. What’s the worst that can happen? You offend someone? Can you live with it? A true artist can of course.

Kellie: Patience and practice, practice, practice. Something that we keep telling our kids that are artistically talented. Keep practicing and learning. Don't be afraid to try new things, techniques, materials. Learn from your mistakes. I keep mine around to remind me of what not to do, or WHY that particular technique didn't work.

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?

When you buy something handmade, you are actually buying a piece of the community from which it came. Before industrialization, everything was handmade. Some people where naturally better at making some things than others. But everything was made because it was needed or wanted. If you wanted to be warm at night, you needed a quilt. If you were much better at training horses than sewing, you bought or traded for your quilt from the person down the way that just loved making quilts. Homemade items also come with their own history and story, making it more personal. Buying handmade connects us indirectly and directly in a way that mechanical mass production items just can't.

11. Your shop name and link?

Mystic Prism is the name of our studio and business. http://www.crystalbymysticprism.com/ is our main website. I am in the process of creating our Mystic Prism Studio page, but not yet ready to advertise it yet. Our personal portfolios of previous work is on line at http://www.sanchezism.com/

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